Nominet, the UK domain name registry, has announced it intends to release short domain names (two and three character domains) before the end of 2010. They will publish full details of the final release process on 1 November 2010.
What will not be permitted?
Characters corresponding to an existing SLD (Second Level Domain) in .uk shall not be permitted as a Third Level Domain within co.uk, me.uk, org.uk and net.uk. At present it includes: ac, co, gov, ltd, me, mil, mod, net, nhs, nic, org, plc, police, com, uk and sch.
Proposed release process
There will be a two-stage sunrise and a landrush release process.
1. First sunrise
Reserved for the holders of registered trade marks enforceable in the UK exactly corresponding to the third level combination being made available and in force as of 1 January 2008 AND who can provide evidence of bona fide use in the UK on or before 1 January 2008, to the satisfaction of an independent assessor.
2. Second sunrise
(i) any person who would have qualified for the first sunrise but missed the application deadline; and
(ii) holders of unregistered rights enforceable in the UK exactly corresponding to the third level combination being made available and in force as of 1 January 2008 AND who can provide evidence of bona fide use in the UK on or before 1 January 2008, to the satisfaction of an independent assessor.
Following the two sunrises, there will be a period of open application.
At each stage, where there are two or more qualifying applicants for a domain name, an open auction process will be used to decide the successful applicant, with any profits going to the Nominet Trust. Once the auction has been completed the successful applicant will be entitled to register the domain name.
As an accredited Nominet registrar Lexsynergy will be able to assist with short domain name applications. Email email@example.com for a copy of the list of domain names to be released.